THEATRE / Preview: Enter a new year, stage left: Sarah Hemming looks forward to another year of the American musical and the re-emergence of the left from the wings; plus dates for the diary

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WITH polished productions of Carousel (National Theatre) and Assassins (Donmar Warehouse) packing them in, the musical ends 1992 with a little more swagger in its step. It's interesting to note that these, for many people the musical highlights of the year, are both American and both relatively dark in subject matter. So what will make it in 1993? In the spring all eyes will be on Crazy For You, the pounds 3m production of the huge Broadway hit which opens in the West End in March. Described as 'a new Gershwin musical comedy' and loosely based on Gershwin's Girl Crazy, it is a simple boy-meets-girl showbiz story interwoven with 19 numbers by George and Ira Gershwin, among them 'Embraceable You' and 'I Got Rhythm'. Directed by Mike (Me and My Girl) Ockrent, and with a book by Ken Ludwig, Crazy For You won three Tony Awards when it opened on Broadway last February and sent the notorioulsy hard-to-please New York Times critic Frank Rich into raptures.

If that sounds unlikely, let me quote the so-called 'Butcher of Broadway' in full flight: 'When future historians try to find the exact moment at which Broadway finally rose up to grab the musical back from the British, they just may conclude that the revolution began last night. The shot was fired at the Shubert Theater, where a riotously entertaining show called Crazy For You uncorked the American musical's classic blend of music, laugher, dancing, sentiment and showmanship with a freshness and confidence rarely seen during the Cats decade.' Phew] Maybe Crazy For You can even dent the recession-hit West End.

1993 also sees some of our major left-wing playwrights back in the arena - Howard Barker, Alan Bleasdale and Trevor Griffiths all have new plays next year - and offers the mouthwatering prospect of Dame Maggie Smith playing Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest. Details of some of 1993's highlights are listed here.


6 New Developments Liverpool Playhouse A three-week season of new writing from Merseyside, opening with Boy by Shaun Duggan.

7 Mr Cinders King's Head, London N1 Revival of the boy meets girl musical comedy. Previews from 31 Dec.

8 Waiting at the Water's Edge Bush, London W12 Polly Teale directs a new play by Lucinda Coxon.

11 The Game of Love and Chance Cottlesloe, National, London SE1 Neil Bartlett translates, Mike Alfreds directs a new co-production of Marivaux's comedy. Previews from 6 Jan.

12 The Deep Blue Sea Almeida, London N1 Karel Reisz directs a revival of Terence Rattigan's study of obsession. With Penelope Wilton. Previews from 6 Jan.

13 Marching for Fausa Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, London SW1 Annie Castledine directs a play by Biyi Bandele-Thomas, a young Nigerian writer. Previews from 9 Jan.

18 Richard III Donmar Warehouse, London Simon Russell Beale repeats his performance as the power- mad king.

18 International Mime Festival various venues (071-637 5661 for details) Fifteenth anniversary of the festival. Guests include Tag Teatro, Bolek Polivka Compan, David Glass, Trestle Theatre Company and the Moving Picture Mime Show.

19 King Baby Pit, Barbican, London EC2 New play by James Robson about a man struggling with alcoholism. Previews from 13 Jan.

19 Yo Tengo un Tio en America Riverside Studios, London W6 A hit from the 1992 Edinburgh Festival - Els Joglars from Spain with a spectacular mix of dance, music and text.

21 King Lear Royal Court, London SW1 Max Stafford-Clark takes his first shot at directing Shakespeare. Tom Wilkinson plays Lear. Previews from 14 Jan.

25 An Inspector Calls Olivier, National, London SE1 Return of Stephen Daldry's highly praised expressionist production of J B Priestley's classic thriller.

26 The Last Yankee Young Vic, London SE1 Premiere of Arthur Miller's new play, directed by David Thacker. The cast includes Zoe Wanamaker.

27 The Ash Fire Tricycle, London NW6 New play by Gavin Kostick about the only Jewish family in Dublin in 1935. Previews 26 Jan.

28 The Day After Tomorrow Cottesloe, National, London SE1 A play for four to seven-year-olds by Roel Adam about sibling rivalry.

28 Hot Stuff Leicester Haymarket Return of the popular musical packed with Seventies hits.

28 Worlds Apart Theatre Royal Stratford East, London E15 Tragi- comedy set at Heathrow and dealing with the heartache faced by people seeking asylum in Britain.

29 The Caretaker Nottingham Playhouse Preview 28 Jan.


2 The Europeans Tramway, Glasgow The Wrestling School with a new Howard Barker play set in 1683 in the aftermath of the Siege of Vienna. Transfers to Greenwich Theatre.

2 Simples of the Moon Lyric Studio, London W6 The Troupe theatre company embarks on a season of new writing by women with a play by Rosalind Scanlon about the schizophrenic daughter of James Joyce.

2 All God's Chillun Got Wings West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds UK premiere of a Eugene O'Neill play, directed by Burt Caesar.

4 The Brothers Karamazov Royal Exchange Manchester Dostoevsky adapted by Gerard McLarnon.

4 Martin Chuzzlewit Belgrade, Coventry Sally Hedges adapts the Dickens classic.

4 'Not the Japanese Season' Lyric Hammersmith, London W6 The Lyric hosts three plays which reflect modern Japanese work.

9 Le Cirque Imaginaire Surrealist circus from the husband and wife team Jean-Baptiste Thierree and Victoria Chaplin.

12 Death of a Salesman Theatre Clwyd, Mold Janet Suzman directs this Miller revival.

15 Entertaining Mr Sloane Greenwich Theatre Jeremy Sams revives Orton's classic.

16 The Invisible Man Ken Hill's intriguing production finds a home in the West End. Previews from 6 Feb.

18 Trelawny of the Wells Olivier, National, London SE1 After the West End production met with a lukewarm reception, will John Caird's new production restore Pinero's comedy about Victorian theatre life? Previews from 12 Feb.

23 Pelleas et Melisande Tramway, Glasgow Peter Brook's production of the Debussy / Maeterlinck musical drama comes over from Paris.

25 On the Ledge Nottingham Playhouse New comedy by Alan Bleasdale set on the roof and ledges of a tower block on Bonfire Night. Directed by Robin Lefevre and designed by William Dudley. Co-production with the National Theatre, where it transfers in Spring. Previews from 19 Feb.


3 Crazy for You The Broadway hit comes to the West End. Prince Edward, London. Previews from 18 Feb.

4 Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays Cottesloe, National, London SE1 More drama for children from the National: this time Alan Ayckbourn's adventure story about Mr Accousticus who steals sounds. Previews from 25 Feb.

5 Othello Birmingham Rep Bill Alexander makes his debut as artistic director of the Rep with a production of Shakespeare's tragedy.

5 Mirandolina Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh Classic Goldoni comedy, translated by Ranjit Bolt.

9 The Importance of Being Earnest Aldwych, London Dame Maggie Smith plays Lady Bracknell in Nicholas Hytner's new production. Previews from 22 Feb.

9 Mad Riverside Studios, London W6 Performed by people with experience of mental illness.

15 Chatsky Almeida, London N1 Anthony Burgess adapts a Russian play.

18 Kindertransport Cockpit Theatre, London NW8 Play by Diane Samuels about a little Jewish girl who is evacuated from Nazi Germany. Previews 15 Mar.

24 Macbeth BAC, London SW11 Red Shift theatre company promises a radical, muscular 90 minute production of the Scottish play. What, no witches? Previews 23 Mar.

30 City of Angels Prince of Wales, London Broadway musical comedy by Larry Gelbart (M*A*S*H*) and Cy Coleman. Previews from 19 Mar.


Macbeth Olivier, National Theatre, London SE1 Richard Eyre directs. Opening night not yet confirmed.

6 Fish 'n' Leather Spring Street Theatre, Hull Hull Truck launches three plays about women's issues with a piece by Gill Adams based on the lives of three local women.

13 Arcadia Lyttelton, National Theatre, London SE1 New Tom Stoppard, directed by Trevor Nunn.

18 Love Song for Ulster Tricycle, London NW6 An Irish trilogy by Bill Morrison set in and after 1922. Previews from 27 Mar.

20 Don't Fool With Love Donmar Warehouse, London Cheek by Jowl with a De Musset.


1 Macbeth Tron, Glasgow Iain Glen stars in Michael Boyd's new staging (co-produced with Dundee Rep). Previews 29 Apr.

11 The Showman Almeida, London N1 Alan Bates in a Thomas Bernhard play.

13 Poison Pen Manchester Royal Exchange Albert Finney in a Ronald Harwood play. Thatcher's Children Bristol Old Vic Trevor Griffiths' play charts the lives of seven children of the Thatcher era.


9 Translations Donmar Warehouse, London New production of Brian Friel's fine play.

18 Moti Roti, Puttli Chunni Theatre Royal, Stratford East, London E15 Extravaganza with music based on Indian popular films. Part of the London International Festival of Theatre.

29 Sunset Boulevard Adelphi Theatre, London. Trevor Nunn directs the new Lloyd Webber. Previews from 21 June.

(Photographs omitted)